Memorial playground project in the works for Bentley School
A look at the handicapped accessible playground located in Red Deer on the north side of River Glen School. The hope is that Bentley School's Joslyn Snow Memorial playground will be accessible, like this one, by everyone. (Ashli Barrett Photography)
A new playground is on its way to becoming a reality for Bentley School.
Started to celebrate the life of Joslyn Snow, an educational assistant at the school who died in the summer of a brain tumour, the project to repair, upgrade and replace equipment addresses both a desperate need for the school, as well as one of Snow’s last wishes to give back to her community.
While Snow is no longer alive, her spirit is what has been the driving force behind the project finally getting underway.
“One of the things she wanted was to see donations from the funeral go towards a new playground. We’ve expanded on that and followed through with her wishes,” said Lane Moore, chairperson for the Joslyn Snow Memorial Playground Committee.
“We’ve been talking about it for three or four years, but his was the kick in the butt we needed to get going and get our playground upgraded.”
The committee formally came together in late November, early December of 2017 and came up with a plan to replace aging wood playground structures no longer up to code, repair other pieces of equipment and upgrade others.
While design details have yet to be finalized, the plan is for the playground to be both inclusive and wheelchair-accessible to memorialize Snow’s work with special needs students and allow all students a place to hang out and have fun regardless of physical or mental abilities.
“We’ve had presentations done by different playground companies, had quotes done up and now we’re figuring grants out,” said Moore. “It’s a big process.”
Upwards of $90,000 has been raised for the playground project so far, but the goal is to raise $500,000 to go towards the upgrade and repair of equipment, as well as the installation of new equipment on the elementary playground, as well as the creation of a multi-sport court on the junior and senior high side.
Numerous fundraisers are being held in the upcoming months for the memorial playground project.
Order forms for Easter chocolates from Oodles of Chocolates were sent home with students March 5, with a portion of proceeds going towards the building of the playground. Order deadline in March 13, with chocolate pick up March 21 and 22 during parent-teacher interviews.
On May 25, Bentley School’s annual Fashion Show proceeds will also go towards the project and they’ll also host an old fashioned country fair on June 2, featuring ring tosses, dunk tanks and more.
The next major fundraiser following that will be an art gala in the fall, with the committee looking for donated art pieces to auction off.
However, they’re trying to push sponsorship packages out to local and area businesses looking to support a worthy cause.
Multiple levels of sponsorship are available, with the highest being Diamond ($60,000 and over). This level is only available to two sponsors, but includes naming rights, the inclusion of the company or individual’s name on all advertising for the project, and an invitation to be recognized as a VIP sponsor a the grand opening.
Other levels are open to any and as many sponsors as are interested with details found on the Bentley website at bentley.wolfcreek.ab.ca/playground-fundraiser.
Those interested in making a donation are asked to call the school at (403)748-3770.